On a cold and wet Cape Town morning, there was much to celebrate in the community of Vrygrond, close to Muizenburg, on the Cape Flats. 36 learners on the ITS TYME programme, funded by Barclays, graduated amid much pomp and ceremony. This, our first partnership with Communiversity of South Africa, was a hugely successful one according to Programme Manager, Chantel Klink; “Thanks JA South Africa. This is the best programme partnership we’ve had at Communiversity! Norman [Mentoor] was one of the first facilitators who has ever had such a great report with the learners.”
JA Africa Regional Board members in the back row:
from left (in the red, yellow and green striped shirt) Aziz Dièye, Peter Gbedemah (Vice Board Chair), Sean C. Rush, Chinwe Effiong, Jean Chawapiwa are pictured here with the group of graduates, the JA South Africa Agent, Elena Meyer, JA South Africa MD, Linda McClure and the facilitator, Norman Mentoor
The certification coincided with the JA Africa Regional Board meeting that took place in Cape Town a week before the World Economic Forum. It was therefore a great celebration to have the board members attend the certification ceremony.
The keynote speaker on the day was Lester Philander, a successful entrepreneur and 2014 alum of the JA Mini Enterprise Programme offered at Grassy Park High School. Lester learned to make candles during the JA programme and today his business, Essential Candles, is supplying 30 restaurants in Cape Town. Lester is also writing a self-help book to motivate other young entrepreneurs. What to Expect When Becoming Self-Employed is a self-published book targeted at new entrepreneurs with businesses younger than two years old, offering testimonies and advice from successful young entrepreneurs. Lester and his network of entrepreneur friends have an informal organisation called Adopt a School Kid where they mentor and support entrepreneurial interests among the youth in their immediate communities.
Three learners, Mogammad Heuwel, Danielle Knipe and Desroy Stevens, who have now completed the Communiversity Pre-Professional Programme and the JA South Africa Out Of School Youth programme have, as a result been awarded an apprenticeship at the Cape Town My City Bus Programme as apprentice engineers who will go on to earn R3,000 stipend per month while they learn the intricacies of the job.
The Communiversity Pre-Professional Programme is a 12-course programme offered over six months that supports self-worth teachings in an effort to provide school leavers and matriculants skills to prepare them for the professional world as employees or entrepreneurs. This exposure, followed by the JA ITS TYME programme, where learners are encouraged to start and run a business during the programme, instills holistic entrepreneurship motivation among the youth who go on to become role models in their communities fraught with social ills.